Diego Mauricio’s brace helps Odisha overcome Kerala for first win of the season
Odisha FC picked up their first win in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 after a 4-2 victory against Kerala Blasters FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Thursday. Jordan Murray gave Kerala the lead but an own goal by Jeakson Singh and a Steven Taylor goal off a set-piece helped Odisha make a first half comeback. Diego Mauricio then netted twice in the second half and substitute Gary Hooper scored a consolation goal for Kerala.
- Kerala Blasters broke the deadlock through an early Jordan Murray goal.
- A Jeakson Singh own goal and Steven Taylor goal helped Odisha complete a first half comeback.
- Diego Mauricio scored a brace for Odisha in the second half and Gary Hooper netted a consolation goal for Kerala.
Odisha began the match looking to take the game to Kerala and they managed to apply some early pressure on the Blasters’ defence. However, it was Kerala that registered the first shot of the game on target courtesy of a Murray effort from distance.
The Australian forward then got his name on the scoresheet after a well-taken goal in the 7th minute. A long ball into the box was headed goalwards by Rahul KP and required the intervention of Odisha goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh, who parried the ball into Murray’s path for the Australian to finish with precision from a tight angle.
Kerala’s Vicente Gomez then forced Arshdeep into a save in the 14th minute after unleashing a stinging effort from distance, while Odisha’s first attempt on target came in the 20th minute when a Nandhakumar Sekar shot from near the edge of the box was comfortably saved by the goalkeeper.
The Bhubaneswar-based club went on to level the score two minutes later after a Mauricio cross from inside the box on the right took a deflection off Jeakson Singh and deceived Albino Gomes at his near post on its way into the back of the net.
The equaliser seemed to spur on Kerala to regain their lead as the Blasters had three good chances in quick succession. The first one was for Vicente whose header off a cross forced Arshdeep into conceding a corner. Arshdeep then saved a thunderous Sahal Abdul Samad shot from distance before keeping out a deflected Rahul effort on goal moments later.
At the other end, Mauricio forced Albino into a stunning save in the 34th minute after the ball broke kindly for the Brazilian in the box. Odisha though took the lead three minutes from the break after an unmarked Taylor guided a Jerry Mawihmingthanga freekick into the back of the net.
Daniel Lalhlimpuia could have made it three for Odisha had he managed to hit the target following a half clearance in the box by Albino. However, he dragged his shot wide to the relief of Kerala as Odisha went in for the halftime interval with a 2-1 lead.
Odisha had another chance to take a two-goal lead early in the second period when Mauricio found Jerry in the box with time and space for the Indian winger. Jerry managed to get the shot away but blazed his effort over the crossbar.
The two of them combined for Odisha again in the 50th minute for their side’s third of the night. This time it was Jerry that played Mauricio through on goal for the Brazilian to finish with aplomb and give his side some breathing space.
Mauricio then scored Odisha’s fourth on the hour mark after a sensational solo effort. He picked up the ball on the left and ran with it before cutting on to his stronger right foot and firing a powerful effort past the goalkeeper from the edge of the box.
Kerala tried to find a way back into the contest and a powerful Facundo Pereyra shot from range in the 63rd minute required Arshdeep to make a save. Mauricio nearly scored his hat-trick two minutes later after the Brazilian’s header from a set-piece was tipped on to the woodwork by Albino.
Kerala did pull one back in the 79th minute through substitute Hooper, whose shot off a Murray cross from the right took a deflection and went into the net. Hooper had another chance to score in the final five minutes of regulation time that Arshdeep saved and Rohit Kumar also headed a corner on to the post in injury time. However, Kerala couldn’t quite score another goal as Odisha secured a hard-earned win.
Hero of the Match – Diego Mauricio
Diego Mauricio was brilliant at times during Odisha’s clash against Kerala and he was involved in three of Odisha’s four goals. It was his cross that took a deflection off Jeakson Singh and went into the back of the net. The second half saw him produce two sensational strikes to put Odisha in a position of strength.
Other Match Awards:
Club Award – Odisha FC
DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Jerry Mawihmingthanga (Odisha FC)
Watch the Match Highlights here: